1. Thesis for Essay #2
Literary Analysis of Fiction
Note: You may choose ANY story you have been assigned in MLM for this essay.
Sample Thesis: In the story â€œThe Yellow Wallpaper,â€ the narrator turns into a crawling baby by the end, echoing the fact that she is placed in the nursery and treated like a child by her husband and sister-in-law.
Does this sound odd, weird even? Perhaps you disagree with itâ€”we didnâ€™t discuss this in class, and Iâ€™m not sure any of you would see the story in this light. But if I go through â€œThe Yellow Wallpaper,â€ I can find lots of textual evidence to prove to you that the narrator is infantilized. Although it is bizarrely worded, a thesis like this could work. I want to free you to find a thesis that speaks to your experience with the stories. I do not want canned thesis statements that sound â€œcorrectâ€ or â€œproper.â€ You will need to re-read the story/stories to get down into their depths and really figure out for yourselves what you believe in.
Using your critical reading skills, evolve a persuasive thesis based on one of the following aspects of your reading: (You can consult the Making Literature Matter, pages 120-136 for ideas and guidance.)
- Charactersâ€”the way a character is presented and developed to cause the reader to think and feel a certain way
- Plot and Structure
- Point of viewâ€”the perspective from which the story is told, i.e. in the first-person (â€œThe Yellow Wallpaperâ€) or the third-person (Paulâ€™s Case) How much does the narrator know about the inner workings of the charactersâ€™ minds? In other words, how omniscientis the narrator?
- Imagery/Symbolismâ€”What is the significance of the imagery? What does it tell us about the story?
- Formâ€”The structure of the work as a whole
- Toneâ€”the feeling of the work that you perceive through the words
One helpful way to conceive of this paper is to look for patterns in the storiesâ€”look for things that stand out, and that make strong points about the work as a whole. Make a strong thesis statement, and do not shy away from speaking your truth. Develop a sense of passion about your own topic; become a true expert on one aspect of the story; show your reader how carefully you can think about words.
You will need:
1) An effective introduction with a powerful thesis statement
2) Textual evidence to support your thesis with correct MLA formatting (See MLM 195-197)
3) Transitions between paragraphs and ideas
4) An effective conclusion
Story Study Guide
Please base this on the story you were assigned from this week. Please note: you should write this about the story you were assigned that is NOT “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
USE MLM, pages 121-136 as you fill out these questions.
- What is the plot of the story? Consider the ABDCE formula for this story. (page 122)
- What point of view is used in this story?
- Discuss the characters in this story using the ideas on pages 125-6 as your guide.
- Discuss the story’s setting.
- What kind of imagery is used in this story? Be specific. Look for symbols and recurring images.
- How would you describe the language of this story?
- Discuss the theme of the story. Express your claims according to pages 128-130.